For our 60th anniversary, we asked some of our former members to reflect on their time at Miranda RSL Youth Club. This is what they had to say:
“I loved being a part of the Youth Club, it was a constant in my life when I needed it the most. I was in my early teens when I found a sport that I finally enjoyed. The Bull family treated me like family and although I’m no longer involved my love for the Bull’s and the Youth Club will always be there. My proudest moment was probably when I became a coach, no one treated me differently, I was made to feel like I belonged.”
Bec Humble (Front) in 1992 with her Trampoline Class.
“Miranda RSL Youth Club has been a second home and second family to so many of us throughout the years. I was lucky enough to train & coach at the club from 2001 – 2010 and could not have enjoyed a more supportive and caring environment & team. The Bull family along with the Club Executive are truly inspirational community leaders who deserve all the praise in the world for their ongoing dedication to caring for and developing the youth of the Miranda community.
During my time at the club, I was lucky enough to be supported through many opportunities for personal growth, including coaching courses, first aid training and endless advice from the leadership team. One opportunity I was particularly grateful for was being selected to represent the Club in the 2007 RSL Youth Club reciprocal tour of New Zealand. This program aims to continue the ANZAC tradition of mate-ship between our 2 countries, offering the opportunity for members to gain leadership skills and exposure within the RSL community.
As part of the program, a group of NSW RSL Youth Club members were selected to prepare a variety concert and tour throughout New Zealand performing at various RSA Club functions and ANZAC Day services. While being billeted with various host families and having the opportunity to get to know many New Zealand RSA members, this tour gave myself and the other participants invaluable experience and ongoing comradery with fellow youth club members in both countries, continuing the ANZAC spirit today. Opportunities like this are instrumental in building the youth of our community and future club leaders alike – something that Miranda RSL Youth Club has always sought and succeeded in delivering for our community.”
Members of the Sydney East Trampoline Display Squad including Victoria Timperon (Back, in green) at the conclusion of an Education Week Display at Darling Harbour in 2005.
“I have so many great memories over the years and still even have my original t-shirt from gymnastics with badges!!
I started at Miranda RSL Youth Club in about 1988 doing gymnastics. We trained a couple of times a week and represented the RSL at competitions. I have many memories of gymnastics and the friendships I made. In my teens I decided to try trampolining and went on to train and compete for many years. I also remember coming down for Thursday afternoon sport with my high school. Many years later I came back to the RSL when my children asked to do trampolining and I walked through the doors and was greeted by very familiar faces. Mr Bull, Louise and Rebecca were all still coaching. We talked about the memories and people we had met along the way, the youth club felt like a big extended family. For many years my children trained and competed in the trampoline community and I undertook a judging certificate. I remember attending ANZAC day ceremonies and marches when I was a child and this is something my children were able to participate in when they joined the youth club. I have many fond memories and have been lucky to form friendships over the many years I have spent at the Youth Club.”
Youth Club volunteers including Alison Therkildsen (Far left) receiving their Certificates of Appreciation at Display Day 2017.
“Mr Bull has always made walking into the Youth Club feel like walking into your 2nd home. From the ages 6-17, I spent my time training, competing and coaching which were some of my most forming years. I credit so many of the opportunities, experiences and accomplishments achieved to him, the Bull family and the coaches alike.”
Marriann Corey-Hewitt (Centre) with other Youth Club members at a 2003 Trampoline Competition at Ryde RSL Youth Club.
“I had an absolute ball being a part of the Miranda RSL. Coming from a very strict elite level Gymnastics background I really wanted to find a way to continue my love of being upside down and twisted without the seriousness and punishing methods I had tired of at gym.
We had a trampoline at home and lived on it growing up but didn’t realize it was a sport. I picked it up through my school sport program where Mr Bull was coach and in fact the maintenance man at my school too.
When I found out about trampolining I’d never even seen a double mini. I was hooked!! It took all the great bits I loved from gymnastics and put them into separate events and left out the frilly bits and dance, I loved that, all tricks no fluff!! And separate events you could enter as opposed to gymnastics having to be good at all events because you had to compete in them. lt took the pressure off. It was fun. It was competitive but caring not cut throat.
I joined Miranda RSL soon after starting in school sport with my great friend Anna Bradica, who had also just left gymnastics. We were two peas in a pod. Always class clowns and tumbling clowns.
We started competing and progressed through levels quickly. We spent most days training and weekends competing.
My favourite was double mini and tumbling but of course trampoline and sync wasn’t far off. I did have a weird phobia of back codys which freaked me right out after landing badly. So crazy .. I’d never attempt them in training after that (unless yelled at by Fred Austin Gosford club and Aus coach hehe) everyone else knew I was stubborn and would do it well in the comps; I just could not mentally commit to them unless I had to. I’d hold my breath in comps as I pushed those hands hard to the mat and just tuck it in and go for it. It was so silly in hindsight .. so much fuss over one trick and walk away with medals from routines with codys in them, crazy! The brain can be a massive hand break if you let it I suppose. A lesson for life there perhaps. Push off, tuck in, hang on and go for it.
Mr Bull was like a second dad to us. We spent so much time over the years with the Bull’s and can remember all being so tightly cramped into that tiny little jelly bean van of his with the trailer and double mini being towed. I’m sure the trailer was longer than the car. I remember coming back from, I think a Gosford comp once, pouring rain and had a near collision, not our fault, but missed with the skilled driving of Mr Bull. It must have been hilarious to see that little van pull a full 360 hahaha … of course none of us daredevils really flinched. We were used to spinning and laughed afterwards, I’m sure Mr Bull did not haha.
Representing the club for years was amazing; doing displays all over Sydney, the School Spectacular, ANZAC Days, and so many fun promotions of the sport was great. As well as competing and getting the opportunity to attend elite camps with Australian coaches was awesome.
Representing NSW many times was an obvious highlight; getting to travel Australia and NZ with that team over the years was so much fun, as we picked up many medals.
I remember one in particular; quite controversial at the time. Louise and I in Syncro. We placed always. But never first. We always had the amazing Jackie and Donna who were Australian team members in front of us. Until one day … the scores came through and we won but there was contention and a challenge so the judges had to watch video re runs again and again to finally confirm and award us gold. So exciting.
Traveling to Japan for Pan Pacifics in ’89 was my highest achievement. Winning a silver medal in synchronized with Skye Pollard was epic. I was very proud. Skye was about 6ft tall and at the time I was about 5ft so our medal was very unexpected from our coaches as it was an unlikely pairing but we did it. I came up she came down and we nailed it with only 5 days training together in Osaka before the comp.
Still training as I got older I began coaching junior levels under the guidance of Mr Bull. He was always making sure we were achieving and growing in the best way we could. I did my coaching qualifications and coached more often over the years including school sport groups. I believe this helped motivate me to become a teacher.
My time at Miranda RSL stirs the warmest memories. We were a big crazy funny hard working dedicated family. We supported each other strongly and made many fiends. Our club was always seen as a fun club and for a while perhaps underdogs. I loved my time at Miranda RSL and writing this I’m actually a little teary. I haven’t thought this specifically about my years there for some time and realise how formative those years were/are to who I am today and I have Mr Bull to thank for so much.”
Members of the 1988 NSW State Team for Trampoline Sports including Shae Flemming (Right)